AML highlights raised and the professional winners of the 2021 ASLA Awards by asking designers to share a shot that tells an important part of their project’s narrative.

Criminalized for their very existence: the spatial politics of homelessness

Student Research Excellence Scholarship

Image courtesy of Jared Edgar McKnight, ASLA Associate.

“Much of the foundation for my project was rooted in research into the Los Angeles municipal code and the data and statistics that revealed the criminalization that exists for homeless people in Los Angeles, but it wasn’t until I realized my interviews with a group of LGBTQIA+ homeless young people from Los Angeles that I really found the soul of my project.These listening sessions inspired the designs that populated my radical re-imagining of “a streetscape in Skid Row. Each of the “Charging Your Humanity Pavilions” I imagined extend support services into the public realm and were inspired by a unique story or idea shared with me at these interviews. These ideas, big or small, were intimately told on a human scale through recollections or accounts of personal experiences on the streets, and during the interviews I began to draw and tell these stories oraries through interventions that would ultimately expand these supportive services and resources. in a welcoming and inviting way.

—Jared Edgar McKnight, ASLA Partner

On Criminalized for their very existence:

Conceived as a “survival guide” for the homeless community of Los Angeles, this justice-focused ethnographic design research project spatializes the Los Angeles City Code, the policy that, among other things, prohibits sitting, sleeping or lying on sidewalks and in public spaces. , and proposes a new, more human-centric streetscape typology. Informed by repeated visits to the Los Angeles Skid Row site and over 30 in-person interviews, including conversations with LGBTQIA+ people, this project uses in-depth mapping and data visualization to synthesize the various opaque rules, codes and ordinances and often discriminatory that govern human behavior. and to vividly render the current reality in which “nearly every instance of daily life and routine is punishable so long as it is not accommodated”. The project engages multiple scales and approaches to make readable the many legal restrictions aimed at unprotected populations and proposes a framework – a network of safe spaces that can evolve over a 24-hour cycle to meet the unique needs of unprotected people. protected, establishing an alternative infrastructure of compassion and justice. Through the recodification of urban space, LA’s civic landscape is shifting from criminalization to accommodation.

Posted in ASLA, CITIES, ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE, ONLINE ONLY, RESIDENTIAL, RESILIENCE, STREETS, STUDENTS | Tagged ASLA Student Awards, Criminalizing Homelessness, Criminalized for Their Very Existence: Outstanding Student Research Award in Spatial Homelessness Policy, Jared Edgar McKnight, Los Angeles City Code, research, shelter, Spatial Justice , streetscape | leave a comment


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